Even if more and more people in Germany eat vegetarian or even vegan food, the consumption of meat products such as sausages and ham is huge at 27.3 kilograms per capita in this country in 2020. On average, that’s 75 grams of processed meat per day, but the average is misleading: As more and more people stop eating meat altogether (12 per cent in 2021) or have at least drastically reduced their meat consumption (55 per cent), the remaining third of consumers still significantly higher amounts. And since young women and men under 30 in particular don’t eat meat, this affects older consumers even more. Sausages are for them an integral part of dinner. It has been shown since 2010 that processed meat can cause cancer.
Processed meat includes all meat products that have been modified by processes such as salting, smoking, aging, or fermentation. These include, for example, ham and sausages.
Study: Those who eat a lot of sausages die sooner
Scientists at Harvard University discovered in 2012 that people who eat a lot of processed meat die sooner. For you study, researchers analyzed the diets of 37,698 men and 83,644 women over a period of up to 26 years. Although cardiovascular disease and cancer had been ruled out in advance in all subjects, nearly 6,000 participants died of cardiovascular disease and more than 9,000 of cancer.
The results were clear:
- Who daily a portion Red meat eat, your risk of death increases by 13 percent.
- who daily processed meat eat increases the risk of death by up to 20 percent.
The effect depends on the dose:
- With every 50 grams more of processed meat per day, the risk increases even more.
- Study participants who replaced a meat dish with another protein such as fish, dairy, or legumes reduced their death rate.
Statistically, nearly 17 percent of study participants could have prevented their death from cardiovascular disease or cancer if they had reduced their consumption of processed red meat.
Processed meat: studies show the risk
Meanwhile, numerous international studies have confirmed the results and proven in many cases that the consumption of processed meat is not healthy. Time and again it has been shown that consumption increases the incidence of cancer and cardiovascular disease.
one so busy Analysis of nearly 1,600 studies by researchers at the Harvard University School of Public Health found that 50 grams of processed meat per day increases the risk of heart disease by up to 42 percent and increases the likelihood of diabetes by about one 19 percent.
Especially in the case of stomach and colon cancer, the connection has been so clearly demonstrated that the World Health Organization (WHO) has classified processed meat in the same risk category as tobacco, asbestos and alcohol, such as “carcinogenic in humans”.
Why does processed meat make you sick?
Why processed meat causes disease, what exactly is the deciding factor, or whether various unhealthy properties interact has yet to be investigated. Three guesses:
- Processed meats are often pickled or salted. In the body, nitrate forms carcinogens with stomach acid. nitrosamines.
- Another factor is the preparation: they are raised with a very hot frying pan, grilled or grilled. aromatic hydrocarbons and amines. They are also considered carcinogenic.
- There are many in sausage saturated fatthat probably in combination with carbohydrates have an unfavorable effect on blood lipids.
How much sausage to eat?
So far recommend the The German Nutrition Society (DGE) still recommends the consumption of a maximum of 300 to 600 grams of meat and meat products per week, i.e. 42 to 85 grams per day. In view of the risks that have been known for many years, nutritionists consider this to be too much and recommend a maximum of 20 grams per day. That’s roughly the equivalent of a thin slice of ham.
How healthy are sausage alternatives?
Instead of sausage and ham, cheese is often used for dinner. In fact, compared to processed meat, dairy products are considered less harmful, but in moderation. It should not be more than 50 grams. It also depends on the preparation of the cheese. For example, cottage cheese is considered healthier than sliced cheese.
Vegetarian and vegan sausage substitutes are based on protein sources such as milk, eggs, soy, seitan, peas or lupins. While they are less harmful than hot dogs and ham, there are big differences in the processing and additives used in these products. Nutritionists advise only products for occasional consumption with particularly long lists of ingredients.
Vegetable pastes like tomato paste, avocado or hummus are ideal and can be prepared without much effort.
subject matter experts